There’s no such thing as stuck

stuckSean said that to me 2 nights ago and it unclenched my shoulders from around my ears. We moved to Vermont thinking we’d get pregnant without too much hassle and we wanted to be settled and around family and in a safe place to raise a family. Since that hasn’t happened, I’m starting to feel really trapped here, like I just dragged us somewhere with a not-so-great economy and winters that try to kill you for no good reason. I was working myself up to a fever pitch after a particularly stressful snow drive and that simple statement cut through all the crazy like magic.

I’m a master un-stuck-getter (unstickifier?) but it often happens in a very, very wild way. Freaked out about something? Whatever, just pack up your shit and jam. No worries – until I get into the fire from the frying pan and realize that “just jam” isn’t a very good game plan.

Action should be a creation, not a reaction.

We aren’t stuck. We have a million ways to change how we move forward. We just need to make sure that in the act of unsticking, we keep our reactionary emotions in check and our next steps mindful. I don’t know how things will unfold, but I do know that I have the power to make each situation a creation.


      1. Yes. This, so much. Sometimes I feel suffocated by my own walls and M is always pretty quick to point out that a lot of it is in my head. Kind of makes me want to strangle him, actually. You and Sean are in my thoughts.

  1. hmmm…I like that. Action should be creation, not reaction. You know I want a baby so badly for you and Jen. It hurts, actually, to see close friends and family go through this for one reason or the other, whether it’s infertility or the circumstances and timing in life that hasn’t made it happen. I do think you need to come down to the city though for more lady times. soon, ok?

  2. Exactly. Exactly so much. First of all I am sending all the love and hope to you. As you know we are in a similar situation…. and I often feel the same. We bought a house with a space meant to be a nursery. We are in a children-friendly neighborhood, surrounded by parks and playgrounds. We were counting on this baby to come to us pretty much right after our September 2010 wedding.
    And what am I learning in this (hard) journey? That nothing is definitive, that we can not plan much yeah. But more importantly that there will be situations that we have no control whatsoever of, but that how we react to those situations makes ALL the difference. I can choose to wallow and be sad about how things are. Or I can choose to be happy, to find joy in the everyday situations and gifts that life gives us. So cliché, I know, the small things and all that. But I am finding it to be so true. After all we only have to take it 1 day (or 1 month) at a time. And I quite enjoy life with my husband.
    I don’t want to think about the future, because If i start thingking of the what-ifs I get sad. Instead I focus on being here today, and so far it is working. All of this while hoping, and figuiring it out. I will light a candle for you right now. Hugs.

  3. I really needed to hear this, too. I’m already feeling the walls of the move closing in — feeling like my future path I chose in search of “freedom” is instead leading me into a tiny, confined, suffocating space. But there’s a certain freedom in not knowing what’s next, either. And trusting that whatever circumstances I’m getting myself into in the act of unsticking myself from my current life — well, I can unstick myself from those, too. I hope. I think. I can.

  4. Tamera, you’re so good at cutting to the truth of the matter.

    I can relate to this feeling so precisely. I’ve made huge life changes in the past, when they seemed necessary (or I felt like a scared trapped animal), and they’ve always been successful… but always reactionary as you say. But, as I get older, I realize that this isn’t the only way to make headway.

    I know there is a path to a different, less-wild change: reflective, mindful change … and that comes with reassuring myself that I won’t get “stuck” if I don’t break free immediately. That there is a way to be observant over one’s own life, to be watchful parent at arm’s length of your own self, quietly observing things unfold, yet always there should you need (yourself) to step in.

    Sean is a wise one. It’s so good for those of us with (slight) histrionic tendencies to have men like that by our sides.

  5. it took me so, so long to learn that bailing and running doesn’t actually get me where i want to go. which is not to say that i didn’t try that method for oh, over a decade… it’s still my default setting somewhere deep inside. i recognize that jittery, fearful energy easily now, which is a perfect cue for me to slowwwww down instead of runrunrun. thank you for this well-timed post that resonates with me!!!

  6. Thanks. I, too, needed to hear this. Creation. A situation that isn’t going as we planned, or hoped, or desperately want it to: this is loss and pain, and also a place to build from. As is every moment. I’m sorry your family journey is taking you to such scary, lonely places. Lots of love from another lonely place. I’ll try to remember to react less and create more.

  7. oh, man. hearing this is hard but good. everything is changeable because we are changeable, mostly. having those expectations in place definitely boxes us in, but how do we manage them. i’m moving across the country for love and i think while i don’t want to know what to expect i know in my heart what i want: partnership, marriage, career, family successes. it will come in different ways to us all and we will have happier & more enriching times because of our struggles and our appreciation of the road it took to get there. i love you & i know you are amazing and always inspire me, truly really for reals!

  8. I so get this. The single best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten (though less poetically put than this) is a friend reminding me ‘your decisions are reversible, and always up for negotiation.’

    Ironically, it was when I was also contemplating leaving the Bay Area over ten years ago. Then for New York, later for England. The funny thing is, we’re now thinking about moving back, and somehow knowing that even though each place and move were right at the time, there’s always a chance to loop back or forward. It’s not failing or not making it, it’s just that decisions are fluid and never final.

    Good luck to you guys – in so many different ways.

  9. Thanks for the reminder. I’m contemplating a big, drastic move and, although, in my situation it’s prob. the best thing (Mansfield, OH by all accounts is a backwards wasteland) it’s good to pull back and realize that I’m not “stuck”– just here, for the time being.

    And, winter is trying to kill us. I forgot the cycle, the biorhythm almost, of living through the seasons. It’s the end of January, the doldrums, and the point in the calendar where i give myself over to abject despair but, as much as I hate it here now, I know that come spring I’ll feel an amazing rush of life affirming joy. That’s the payoff.

    I wish you luck. And, not to sound patronizing because I have zero experience trying to conceive, but as I’m currently surrounded by friends with small children (which is great) I also know that all of them look back to the time when they were first married and miss elements of their lives before kids came into the picture.

  10. This sounds like my story too. We moved 11 hours North (VERY cold winters!) from my friends and family for a job and to buy a house so we could start a family. And then I couldn’t get pregnant and the doctors didn’t give me much hope. I was pretty depressed, but eventually decided I needed to live. And once I let go, I got pregnant :) I hope it works out for you.

  11. This is such a good thing to hear today. So much of my move to Roanoke for a new job feels so reactionary and I constantly question it because of that. After all, had I gotten pregnant and STAYED pregnant, we never would have moved because we’d be close to family, so the moving for a job feels like a direct counterpoint to that unrelated life situation. And yet. And yet. And yet. I could have had a baby and STILL had to move. The job market would have been the same. Every time I wonder about whether this was the right choice, I have to force myself out of the “was this reactionary?” loop. Sending you many thoughts.

  12. I so needed this today. Four days late but all I can say is thank you for this. I’m in the middle of trying to get unstuck right now and the process feels like it’s splintered into a million different directions and there doesn’t feel like enough time to get anywhere. I just keep trying to remember that by doing a little each day, I get a lot accomplished. It just doesn’t feel like it at the moment.
    The baby thing is crazy difficult. I just keep hoping that my patience will be rewarded.
    and, just, thank you for this right now. thank you.

  13. This is a bit embarrassing, especially as my first comment on a blog I’ve adored for months, but here I go. A Jamaican friend of my husband’s, upon hearing we were trying to conceive, gave us a bottle of “roots drink” and a bag of moringa seeds. I was super skeptical (actually I full-out mocked the idea), but then another mutual friend got pregnant after consuming the drink/seeds (and has since had the most perfect little girl, btw). Anyway, so my husband ate the seeds and drank the drink before we got down to business last month, and I got pregnant. I have nothing but anecdotal evidence among our group of thirtysomething friends here in the Bay Area, but it’s all good (including one couple who’d been trying for two years, ate the seeds, and conceived). I really have no idea how scientific or legit this is, but what the hell, right? It’s totally natural stuff, so it can’t hurt to try. We were given Daniel’s Roots Drink which our friend brought back from Jamaica, but there’s a more mass-produced brand called Zion Roots Drink that you can probably find online. The moringa seeds we got looked like this: Some cursory googling suggests the moringa seeds are more directly linked with fertility, so maybe they’re the only essential part, but our friends have been using both the roots drink and the seeds. Who knows. I felt compelled to share it with you.

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